The famous Galilee, 1966 Melbourne Cup winner, was a New Zealand-bred. He went on to be one of the top racehorses of his era in Australia.
Though other horses have completed Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup doubles, Galilee is the only horse to have won the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and Sydney Cup all in the same season.
We’re looking at him and especially at his 1966 Melbourne Cup success at Flemington.
Galilee was foaled in 1963. The bay colt, as he was then before gelding, was foaled at Trelawney Stud in Cambridge, New Zealand.
By top sire Alcimedes and out of Galston, he was well bred and much was expected from the start. He was bought by Bart Cummings for only £3,780. Cummings was to go on to train him too.
Galilee was under the ownership of Max Bailey, a builder from Adelaide, along with his wife. The pair also owned Ziema, runner-up in the 1965 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. That sort of performance was to be an omen.
Over the course of his career, Galilee ran in 36 races and won 18 of them. Between 1966 and 1968, he took 10 major titles to cement himself as a horse with a very serious reputation.
During that period, Galilee won the Toorak Handicap, the Caulfield Cup, the Melbourne Cup and the CB Fisher Plate during a stellar 1966. In 1967, he won the VRC Queen’s Plate and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He backed that up with wins in the Autumn Stakes and the Sydney Cup.
In 1968, Galilee won the Memsie Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes. His triple Cup win in 1966/67 stands as one of the best performances of all time in Australia.
Galilee’s Melbourne Cup Win
In 1966, Galilee had already taken the Caulfield Cup. He was set to carry 57kg in the Melbourne Cup for trainer Bart Cummings, but was up against his top-class stablemate Light Fingers who had taken the Melbourne Cup the previous year.
In the end, Galilee defeated Light Fingers. His win went down at the time as one of the best ever Melbourne Cup performances.
Despite winning this race so many times, as well as dozens of others, Bart Cummings was so complimentary about Galilee. After this terrific win, Cummings often described Galilee as the best horse he ever trained. From that man, it really is some accolade.